Regular season: Denver impresses, Boston continues, Lakers relapse

Aurélie SACCHELLI, published on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 8:01 AM

Six games were on the program tonight in the NBA, and they notably saw the large victory of Denver in Milwaukee (97-128). Boston offered the Clippers (117-112), while the Lakers fell at home against Phoenix (104-114).

Game of the Night: Boston – LA Clippers

Falling out of the Eastern Conference Top 8 barely a week ago, Boston is doing much better and has a third straight win on Tuesday. After Indiana and Washington, it was the Clippers (deprived of Kawhi Leonard, injured in the back) who fell at TD Garden: 117-112. This meeting was very close, the Californians never having more than six points in advance and the Celtics eleven. Brad Stevens’ men led most of the time, and didn’t panic in the third quarter when the Clippers were in the lead. On the contrary, they had an excellent last quarter, notably with a 9-0 to lead 111-100 at 4’23 from the end. The Californians came back to 114-112 with eleven seconds left on a 3-point shot from Paul George, but Daniel Theis and Kemba Walker sealed the C’s free throw victory. C’s who made no mistakes in the final seconds and saw Paul George miss the long-distance shot that could have allowed the Clippers to come back to 116-115 with nine seconds remaining. Daniel Theis took the rebound and Boston won. If Paul George missed this last shot, yet it was he who finished top scorer in his franchise, with 32 points, Reggie Jackson adding 25. Celtics side, Kemba Walker scored 25 points and Jaylen Brown 18.

MVP of the night: Nikola Jokic

After four straight victories, Milwaukee fell, and in great width! The Bucks, third in the East, lost 97-128 at home to Denver, seventh in the West, after a one-sided game. Much was expected of this shock, but the mountain gave birth to a mouse, so much Milwaukee, who could count on his entire workforce, was nonexistent against the Nuggets who could deprived of JaMychal Green, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Facundo Campazzo. If Milwaukee led during the first four minutes, Denver immediately imposed its law, to lead 64-50 at halftime and 99-80 at the end of the third quarter, carried by a much better address (56% against 40 %). And if the Nuggets were so strong, it’s because they could count on a huge Nikola Jokic, who finished with 37 points (15 of 23 shots including 2/3 3pts), 10 rebounds, 11 assists and 2 steals, thus signing his ninth triple-double of the season. Opposite, even Giannis Antekounmpo (27pts, 8rbds, 3pds) was no match.

The flop of the night: The LA Lakers

Fifth loss in seven games for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are definitely struggling in the absence of Anthony Davis. The defending champions were beaten 104-114 at home by Phoenix, who took the opportunity to take second in the Western Conference, three and a half wins behind Utah. The Lakers (also deprived of Marc Gasol and Kyle Kuzma) only led for a few minutes in this meeting, especially in the second quarter, but never by more than two points. They were however able to count on an excellent LeBron James with 38 points (16 of 24 shots including 3/8 at 3pts), 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. But opposite, Phoenix mastered the whole match, despite the expulsion of his star Devin Booker (17pts, 3rbds, 6pds, 3int) in the middle of the third quarter, for exchanging too harsh words with a referee. The score was then 70-63 for the Suns, who did not tremble thereafter, and were able to count on Mikal Bridges (19pts). The Lakers, third in the West, will play one last game this Wednesday before the All Star break, in Sacramento, and it will be, for the first time this season, without LeBron James, left to rest. Another defeat in sight?

Frenchman of the Night: Frank Ntilikina

Three Frenchmen played that night, and only Killie Tillie, with Memphis, won. But the best tricolor of the night was Frank Ntilikina, who played only his eighth game of the season with New York, and started for the first time, in the absence of Derrick Rose. The 22-year-old point guard played 25 minutes and had time to score 13 points (with a nice 3 of 3 to 3 points) and take 2 rebounds during the Knicks’ defeat in San Antonio (119-93). He seized the opportunity offered by Tom Thibodeau, to him to confirm Thursday against Detroit for the last game before the All Star break.

Tuesday 2 March 2021
Washington Wizards – Memphis Grizzlies : 111-125
>>> Stats of Killian Tillie (MEM): 12 minutes of play, 0 points (0 of 2 on shots including 0 on 3pts), 1 rebound, 2 fouls

Boston Celtics – Los Angeles Clippers : 117-112
>>> Stats of Nicolas Batum (LAC): 30 minutes of play, 10 points (4 of 6 on shots including 2/4 at 3pts), 5 rebounds, 3 assists

Miami Heat – Atlanta Hawks : 80-84
San antonio spurs – New York Knicks : 119-93
>>> Stats by Frank Ntilikina (NYK): 25 minutes of play, 13 points (5 of 7 on shots including 3/3 to 3pts), 2 rebounds, 1 lost ball, 2 fouls

Milwaukee Bucks – Denver Nuggets : 97-128
Los Angeles Lakers – Phoenix Suns : 104-114

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